Signs and identification of fungal root-rot pathogens in tropical Eucalyptus pellita plantations.
This study describes and identifies the fungi associated with root-rot disease in Eucalyptus pellita, associated anecdotally with a species of Phellinus. Macro- and microscopic morphological observations and DNA analysis were used to identify sporocarps and fungal cultures growing from symptomatic root samples. Investigation of 12 sites in Central Sumatra revealed that red root-rot disease caused by species of Ganoderma (most commonly Ganoderma philippii) was as prevalent as root disease caused by Phellinus noxius. The study also detected the presence of several potential fungal agents of root rot at any one site. Fungal signs such as absence/presence of sporocarps were a poor indicator of root-rot incidence in stands. Instead, fungal isolation from infected roots was essential to obtain accurate identification of active pathogens.